The Tunisian parliament has adopted a new "anti-terror" law aimed at beefing up authorities' powers following recent deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. The new laws impose the death penalty as a possible sentence for a range of "terror" offences and will allow authorities to detain terror suspects for up to 15 days without access to a lawyer.
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency on Saturday to hand his government more authority following an attack on a beach hotel, where 38 foreign tourists, mostly British, were killed. Tunisia's emergency law temporarily gives the government more executive flexibility, hands the army and police more authority and restricts certain rights such as the right to public assembly.
Tunisian authorities have arrested nine people allegedly linked to Wednesday's attack apparently targeting tourists at a museum in Tunis that killed at least 21 people and injured 47 others. "Security forces were able to arrest four people directly linked to the [terrorist] operation and five suspected of having ties to the cell," the presidency said in a statement on Thursday.
Tunisia, the small north African country which lit the first spark of the Arab spring when its popular uprising toppled the dictatorship four years ago, has been plunged into shock after gunmen killed at least 20 people, including at least 17 foreign tourists, in the worst terrorist attack in more than a decade.
Tunisia's parliament has approved a unity government led by the secular Nidaa Tounes party and including its Islamist rivals, in the latest step in its transition to full democracy following a 2011 uprising.
In Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began in 2011, voters appeared on Sunday to come full circle, with preliminary election results showing the majority supporting a former official with the toppled regime. Beji Caid Essebsi, of the anti-Islamist Nidaa Tounes Party, is slightly ahead of rival Moncef Marzouki, the incumbent president, who has warned against the return of "one-party era" figures like Essebsi, according to initial results tweeted by the Tunisialive website on Monday.
There are concerns that the distribution of power among scores of political parties would further splinter Tunisian society. Small parties may exercise no power in the ruling coalition, were larger partners could use their leverage to wring concessions from them, leading to the emergence of a new authoritarian style of government.
Tunisia has voted in historic elections to choose its first parliament since the overthrow of long-time ruler in 2011 that sparked the 'Arab Spring' protests. Votes were being counted across the country on Sunday as Tunisians cast their ballots in parliamentray elections, four years after the ouster of autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Many polling stations reported high turnouts and long lines early in the day, with an estimated 60 percent of the 5.2 million registered voters turning out to vote for the 217-seat parliament.
A year ago, Tunisia s main Islamist party, Ennahda, feared for its future. Political assassinations, an emerging insurgency and economic discontent had battered its coalition government. When the Islamist government in Egypt was overthrown and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood imprisoned, Ennahda s members worried about a similar fate. Their coalition held on for several more months before negotiating a face-saving exit and eventually ceding power to a caretaker government in January.
Nearly four years after the Arab Spring revolt, Tunisia remains its lone success as chaos engulfs much of the region. But that is not its only distinction: Tunisia has sent more foreign fighters than any other country to Iraq and Syria to join the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.
Secular opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi was killed with the same gun that was used to kill his coalition party leader Chokri Belaid six months ago, Tunisia's interior minister has said. Lotfi Ben Jeddou told a news conference on Friday that it suggested the involvement of the same hardline Salafist group.
The murder of opposition politician Chokri Bela d was also an assault on Tunisia's emerging democracy. It has exposed the chasm between Islamists and secularists, and threatens to plunge the nation at the forefront of the Arab Revolution into chaos.
An aid had hinted that Hamadi might resign earlier on Tuesday, after the ruling Ennahda party rebuffed his plan to form a non-partisan cabinet to steer Tunisia through a crisis sparked by the killing of leftwing politician Shokri Belaid.
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has threatened to resign unless his Ennahda party and other parties accept his proposals for an interim government of technocrats. Jebali, who is in dispute with his party over his proposal for a new government, said on Saturday he would present his new cabinet "by the middle of next week by the latest," the official TAP news agency reported.
Hundreds of supporters of Tunisia's governing Islamist party, Ennahda, are attending a rally in the centre of the capital, Tunis, a day after huge crowds attended a murdered opposition leader's funeral. The demonstrators have gathered outside the National Theatre and are chanting: "We are Muslims, we will not be moved." In the meantime, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has pledged to form a new non-partisan government of technocrats by the middle of next week, Tunisian media report.
Tens of thousands of mourners have gathered for the funeral of an assassinated Tunisian opposition leader, chanting anti-government slogans, with clashes reported outside the cemetery where he was buried. Police fired teargas at people outside the cemetery where Shokri Belaid was buried on Friday, witnesses said. The authorities had earlier fired shots in the air to disperse youths who were smashing cars in the area. Members of the crowd tried to intervene to stop the clashes, which occurred before the main procession had arrived at the cemetery.
Tunisian police have broken up fighting in Tunis when pro-government supporters attacked labour union members they blamed for inciting protests last week against the government. Several hundred pro-government supporters, with knives and sticks, charged a gathering of members of Tunisia's biggest union, UGTT, in the capital on Tuesday and broke windows at its offices with stones, a witness of Reuters news agency said.
Tunisia's government has reached an agreement with the labour union of the flashpoint town Siliana, where police are battling to maintain order for the fifth straight day. Under the deal, the assistant governor will run the town after ongoing protests calling for Governor Ahmed Ezzine Majjoubi to resign, Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reported from Siliana on Saturday.
Violent clashes have continued in the Tunisian town of Siliana, where a police crackdown on protests has left hundreds of people wounded this week, as political instability in the north African country mounts. Policemen, backed by armoured cars, fired warning shots and tear gas at hundreds of protesters on Friday evening.
Tunisia's ex-strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison for complicity in the murders of 43 protesters in the 2011 revolution that toppled him, a military judge has said. Hedi Ayari of the Tunis military court said on Thursday that Ben Ali was judged with around 40 of his former officials, including General Ali Seriati, ex-head of presidential security, who was given a 20-year prison term
The Tunisian government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in eight areas of the country, including the capital, after rioting blamed on ultra-conservative Salafi Muslims left dozens of police officers injured. The wave of violence on Monday night mostly targeted courts and other state buildings. Police in the capital Tunis fired tear gas to disperse protesters who torched a local courthouse and attacked several police stations.
Hundreds of Salafists have clashed with security forces and attacked a police station in a Tunisian town. The clashes, in Jendouba, were sparked when the ultra-conservative Muslims began protesting against the arrest of four fellow Muslims. The number of those who took part, some armed with clubs and Molotov cocktails, swelled to 500 during the day. After setting fire to the security headquarters, the group attacked bars and stores selling alcohol.
Police in Tunisia have fired tear gas to disperse a rally to commemorate Martyrs Day and protest against the worsening economic situation and lack of employment in the north African nation. Nearly a thousand demonstrators turned out on Monday morning to a protest on Habib Bourguia Avenue in the capital Tunis, defying a government ban on protests
If the revolts that swept the Middle East a year ago were the coming of age of youths determined to imagine another future for the Arab world, the aftermath that has brought elections in Egypt and Tunisia and the prospect of decisive Islamist influence in Morocco, Libya and, perhaps, Syria is the moment of another, older generation.
The insults were furious. "Infidel!" and "Apostate!" the religious protesters shouted at the two men who had come to the courthouse to show their support for a television director on trial on charges of blasphemy. Fists, then a head butt followed.
Today, Tunisia celebrates the first anniversary of its January 14 revolution, when the autocrat residing in Carthage had to flee. There are many ways of marking a historical benchmark such as the ousting of a dictator. But what is the significance of January 14? Is it just a question of a national day - or even a Pan-Arab day - when the Arab Spring sprung? Is it about enumerating the anniversaries of a spectacular escape? Or is it an idea and an ideal requiring renewal and stock-taking?
The family of Tunisia's former leader, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, had a reputation for leading an excessively extravagant lifestyle that angered many people and helped lead to their downfall. Now, almost a year after the Ben Ali's fled the country, there is not much that remains of their lavish mansions; most of them were looted in the days following the revolution.
Tunisia was the first post-revolution country to hold free and fair elections, and the plurality of seats were won by the Islamist Ennahda Party, which had been banned up until the revolution. The Tunisian constituent assembly has 217 members, and it has a year to decide on a new constitution for the country.
Tunisian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Suha Arafat, widow of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as part of a corruption probe into Tunisia's former first family, the justice ministry said. Suha Arafat used to spend much of her time in Tunisia and was for many years close to the wife of former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was forced to flee by the north African country's revolution in January.
The strong showing by a moderate Islamist party in Tunisia s elections this week has made this tiny coastal nation a test case for whether Islamist ideology and democracy can coexist in a region long dominated by Western-backed autocrats who have used religion as a foil, not a governing philosophy.
Secular, urban, middle-class women fear Tunisia might face the fate of Iran and Algeria, after Sunday's election handed power to Ennahda a moderate Islamist party that was banned under decades of autocratic, secularist rule.
The moderate Islamist party al-Nahda has claimed that it has won more than 30 per cent of seats in Tunisia's 217-member consitutent assembly, following the country's historic election.
Nine months after the popular uprising that ended the authoritarian rule of Zine El Abidine Bin Ali, Tunisians have voted in the first free and fair elections, and the voter turnout has been surprisingly and emphatically high.
Tunisian election officials are counting votes after Sunday's election, the first free poll of the Arab Spring. More than 90% of registered voters turned out to cast their ballots, officials say. Tunisians are electing a 217-seat assembly that will draft a constitution and appoint an interim president, who will choose the new government
Five Tunisians have tried to hang themselves after failing a competition to become teachers in the impoverished western Kasserine region, witnesses and media reports said. The men climbed an improvised scaffold outside a branch of the education ministry and tied rope nooses around their necks, witness Rachid Jabbari told the AFP news agency.
The central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid is considered the birthplace of the North African country's historic January revolution, which triggered copycat protests across the Arab world. But as Tunisia prepares for its first democratic elections in October, discontent remains high. A July demonstration in Sidi Bouzid turned violent, killing a young boy.
The fundamentalist Ennahda party seems poised to take advantage of a chaotic situation ahead of general elections in Tunisia. Ennahda and other Islamist parties are taking advantage of the Aug. 2 deadline for registration for elections coinciding with the start of the holy month of Ramadan, when there is better attendance at mosques.
Tunisian police have arrested Islamist activists after they clashed with a group of lawyers outside the capital's main courthouse, as tensions rise over the country's post-revolutionary future.
A Tunisian court sentenced the country s ousted president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, to 35 years in prison and a fine of roughly $66 million after a trial in absentia for embezzlement and misuse of public funds, state news media said Monday night.
Authorities in Tunisia have imposed an overnight curfew in and around the capital, Tunis, after days of unrest. The curfew will run every evening until 0500 local time (0600 GMT), the country's defence and interior ministries said in a joint statement.
Tunisian police have used tear gas and batons to break up protests demanding the resignation of the government in the most violent confrontation for weeks with pro-democracy demonstrators.
Tunisian authorities say they want to try former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 18 different charges, including voluntary manslaughter and drug-trafficking. Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said the charges were among 44 to be made against Mr Ben Ali, his family and some former ministers.
In this low-slung colonial city of whitewashed buildings, cars career down lanes reserved for trolleys and black-market street vendors have clogged the sidewalks, sometimes erupting into turf battles that make pedestrians scramble for cover. Tunisian flags flutter on balconies, and graffiti on the main avenue read: "Thank you, Facebook."
A Tunisian court has dissolved the former ruling party of the country's deposed leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The court in Tunis, the capital, announced the end of the Rally for Constitutional Democracy (RCD) on Wednesday, but the party said it would appeal against the decision.
Mohammed Ghannouchi, Tunisia's interim prime minister, has resigned, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis, the capital, who were demanding some of his minsters be removed.
They were the ones who triggered the revolution: the poor and disenfranchised of Tunisia. But despite their hard-won freedom, many don't see any prospects for a quick improvement in their lives, and are seeking their fortunes across the sea in Europe. An uncertain future awaits them there.
Tunisia is formally requesting the extradition of ex-President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali from Saudi Arabia, where he fled last month. Mr Ben Ali flew to Saudi Arabia on 14 January after 23 years in power, after being toppled by weeks of protests.
Tunisian police have dispersed dozens of Islamists demanding the closure of a brothel in the capital Tunis. The police reportedly fired in the air to break up the crowd. Separately, a Polish Catholic priest was found dead with his throat slit outside the capital.
Tunisia has replaced all 24 regional governors as part of the efforts to dismantle the legacy of the ousted president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, according to official sources. The country's state news agency reported on Thursday that the interior ministry replaced several senior security officials this week, a first step to overhauling the network of police, security forces and spies built up by Ben Ali during 23 years of police rule.
The fishmonger at the market cries, "Long live Tunisia!", his smile as big as the fish he's slicing. Middle-aged women hold sleep-overs to talk politics deep into the night. Euphoric Tunisians have a chance to do what was undreamable three weeks ago: Build a democracy from the ground up.
Yesterday Rached Ghannouchi, the head of the al-Nahda Party, returned to Tunisia after more than 20 years in exile. Al-Nahda, banned by the Ben Ali regime, is generally labelled an "Islamist" party, and there has been a lot of chatter about its intentions and policies. Ghannouchi has been giving a series of interviews to try and assuage any concerns and to set out the possibilities for the party.
As my colleague David Kirkpatrick reports from Tunisia, the authoritarian president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, has fled the country after weeks of chaotic street protests that his security forces have been unable to stifle.
As Tunisians struggle to create order from the chaos that has followed the fall of a dictator, the country s neighbors are engaged in a different kind of fight: over how to interpret and even what to call the events that led to the flight of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, after weeks of street protests.
Passions unleashed by the revolution in Tunisia resonated throughout the region on Monday as an Egyptian and a Mauritanian became the latest of six North Africans to set themselves on fire in an imitation of the self-immolation that set off the uprising here a month ago.
December 17: Mohammed Bouazizi, an 26-year-old man trying to support his family by selling fruits and vegetables in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, douses himself in paint thinner and sets himself on fire in front of a local municipal office.
Whether the overthrow of the corrupt and autocratic Ben Ali regime in Tunisia in a mass civil insurrection will lead to a stable, just and democratic order remains to be seen, but the dramatic events in that North African country underscore a critical point: Democracy in the Arab world will not come from foreign military intervention or sanctimonious lecturing from Western capitals, but from Arab peoples themselves.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Winston Churchill, in 1942. British politician (1874 1965) Tunisians are now living a transition period which they [...]
Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of a formerly banned party, has returned to Tunisia after 21 years in exile. More than 1,000 people gathered at the main international airport to welcome the leader of al-Nahda as he returned from the UK on Sunday, after the interim government pledged to allow his party and other movements banned under the rule of now ousted President Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali.
Mohammed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian prime minister, has reshuffled the interim government, dropping key ministers from the heavily criticised government of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
In the summer of 2009 when thousands of Iranians were protesting the elections and were shouting aginst tyranny and dictatorship of Mr. Ahmadinejad and his benefactor, Mr. Khamenei. The Editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi Mr. Abdel Bari Atwan, said the protesters are being manipulated by the West to go out in the streets and protest. Perhaps [...]
In Ben Ali's time, any criticism of the government, however mild it might be, was not allowed. People risked losing their jobs and compromising their future if they did not show their loyalty to the president. It was no secret that bloggers in Tunisia underwent censorship and faced real dangers of imprisonment, torture and death [...]
After days of antigovernment protests, dozens of Tunisians marched in the capital on Tuesday to demonstrate their patience with the interim government that replaced the ousted dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, pleading with their fellow citizens to give the temporary leadership time to hold elections.
The recent grassroots uprising against the government in Tunisia, unprecedented in recent Arab history, has been the source of an enormous outpouring of both hope and fear throughout the region. While almost all Arab political leaders have life terms, ex-President Zein El-Abedine Ben Ali was basically chased out of his country and his office by a largely unorganized, spontaneous and diverse outpouring of outrage from a very wide segment of the population.
THE West stands captivated by Tunisia, where a month of peaceful protests by secular working- and middle-class Arabs has toppled a dictator, raising hopes that this North African country of 10 million will set off democracy movements throughout a region of calcified dictatorships. But before we envision a new Middle East remade in the manner of Europe 1989, it is worth cataloguing the pivotal ways in which Tunisia is unique.
At the moment it is abundantly easy to sense everywhere in the Arab World elation at what appears to be one of greatest events in modern Arab history. A genuine popular revolution, spontaneous and apparently leaderless, yet sustained and remarkably determined, overthrew a system that by all accounts had been the most entrenched and secure in the whole region.
All of the eight ministers in Tunisia's interim government who had been members of the RCD party of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the ousted president, have quit the party, but they still remain in their cabinet posts.
THE Arab press has been awash with responses to the protests in Tunisia deposing Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali. Their views range from from elation at the fall of Tunisia's president, to concern over how the power vacuum will be filled and speculation about which corrupt Arab leader could be next to fall.
Tunisia appeared to tip towards all-out chaos on Sunday evening as fierce gun battles exploded in the heart of the capital, with the military attempting to root out thousands of well-armed militia loyal to the ousted dictator Zine Abidine Ben Ali.
Hours after riots forced Tunisian President Zine el Abidine ben Ali to flee his country, hundreds of Egyptians poured into the streets of Cairo with a warning to their own authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak.
New battle lines appeared to take shape in traumatized Tunisia on Sunday as the military backed the nascent interim government in what state media portrayed as a fight against security forces loyal to ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, blaming them for the violence and rioting that has engulfed the country since protests forced him from power 48 hours earlier.
Here in Palestine, we face a relentless assault not only on us and our lands but on truth, on decency, on nature, on dignity, and, dare I say, on God. Israeli authorities are working overtime to transform the Holy City of Jerusalem from a multi-ethnic and multi-religious city to a distorted vision of what Zionists [...]
On Friday, January 14, 2011, after almost 30 days of increasingly violent protests and government efforts to qwell them, the President of Tunisia Zine el Abidine BEN ALI, who had been in power for 23 years, fled the country.
The Tunisian revolution started with some of the demonstrations that were organized through Facebook, spread out on Twitter, etc and ended in a revolution. After several weeks of violent rioting, it is relatively quiet in the Tunisian capital of Tunis in the evening. President Zine al-Abidin Ben Ali (74) have fled the country and [...]
By now everyone is likely following the most significant news to hit the MENA region in a very long time. There are hundreds of sources covering the Tunisian revolution - with videos/images scattered all over YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, etc. It's very difficult to know where to go to get everything in one place so [...]
After the self-immolation of Mohammad Bouazizi in the city of Sidibouzid on December 17th shortly after the police's attempt to confiscate his vegetable cart for not having a permit to sell, Tunisia has seen massive protests whose voices echoed all across the Middle East, even though at first were ignored by the international community, who [...]